Policy innovation for inclusive internet governance
Sep 28-29, The University of Sydney
Call for papers
The task of internet policy making has changed markedly over the past two decades. The ‘move fast, break things’ era—during which a central policy concern was how to manage economic disruption across industry sectors from entertainment to journalism, retail, transport and hospitality—has evolved into a digital era characterised by complex and interconnected social, political and economic global challenges. Today, internet policy must confront issues relating to embedded interests, monopoly power, geopolitics, colonisation, warfare, automation, the environment, misinformation, safety, security and more. As DeNardis (2014) has argued, conflicts within internet governance involve critical negotiations over economic and political power and how these conflicts are resolved “will determine some of the most important public interest issues of our time”.
In seeking to resolve these conflicts, there is a risk that the dominant economic and geopolitical actors will structure outcomes in their interest. An inclusive approach to internet governance is needed if we are to achieve an equitable distribution of digital resources and opportunities. Inclusive internet governance requires that the voices, interests and values of the maginalised are included in policy making processes, so that dominant ideologies can be challenged and alternative imaginaries realised (Gurumurthy & Chami, 2016).
Novelty and innovation in internet policy is itself challenging. Typically, policy making is driven by past experiences (Schot and Steinmueller, 2018) and constrained by institutional formalities, hierarchies and procedures (Bauer, 2014). Innovation, on the other hand, requires space for exploration and experimentation with opportunties “only partially known” (Bauer & Bohlin, 2022). How does policy innovation occur?
This conference seeks to bring together a range of international voices to demonstrate how varying approaches towards internet policy are established, embodied and engaged with by a variety of stakeholders. It also aims to bring together scholars and policymakers to discuss current practices, alternative designs and the ‘unknowns’ that are required for inclusive internet governance. The conference will invite scholars, civic interest groups, platform providers and regulatory bodies to discuss the tensions of internet policy and will consider a future research agenda for the field.
This two day conference is inviting papers that address, but are not necessarily limited to, the following topics:
- What is policy innovation in this moment? What are its ecosystems? Are they fit for purpose? How can they be reimagined?
- Achieving diversity, justice and inclusion in internet governance
- Case studies from diverse jurisidctions that address core internet governance problems
- Case studies in innovative approaches to digital platform governance
- Policies of digital sovereignty, security and and conflict
- Global response to automation and artificial intelligence
- Policy and governance implications of emerging tech e.g. web3, AI, extended reality, the Internet of things and 5G
- Emerging cultural practices and related regulatory tensions
- Internet business models that challenge the status quo
- Competition and other economic policies for a more competitive internet
Email a 300-500 word abstract, excluding references, to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 16, 2023 with subject line “P&I Conference 2023 Submission”.
All accepted papers are required to be presented in person.
Abstracts will be assessed according to the following criteria:
1) quality of research and analysis
3) relevance to conference theme and Policy & Internet Journal audiences.
Notifications of acceptance will be provided by 1 May, 2023.
A selection of presenters will also be invited to submit a full paper for a special issue of Policy & Internet.
Bauer, J. M. (2014). Platforms, systems competition, and innovation: Reassessing the foundations of communications policy. Telecommunications Policy, 38(8-9), 662-673.
Bauer, J. M., & Bohlin, E. (2022). Regulation and innovation in 5G markets. Telecommunications Policy, 46(4), 102260.
DeNardis, L. (2014). The global war for internet governance. Yale University Press.
Gurumurthy, A., & Chami, N. (2016). Internet governance as’ ideology in practice’–India’s’ Free Basics’ controversy. Internet Policy Review, 5(3), 1-17.
Schot, J., & Steinmueller, W. E. (2018). Three frames for innovation policy: R&D, systems of innovation and transformative change. Research policy, 47(9), 1554-1567.